Lupus awareness is near and dear to our heart, especially on World Lupus Day. Raise awareness for this cause as we tell you a little bit about what we do and why we do it. There is a deeper meaning on this day for us…it is the reason we started this awareness ribbon company. We wanted to raise lupus awareness by wearing the color purple.
About Personalized Cause and its Connection to World Lupus Day
Personalized Cause® is an awareness accessory company based in California. Personalized Cause® specializes in personalized awareness ribbons. These are also referred to as custom awareness ribbons. On our ribbon pins you can add a name, date or message to whatever ribbon you choose. In other words, our custom awareness ribbons are engraved with your choice of text. We also carry the original awareness ribbon pins, without customization. In addition, we offer wristbands and fabric ribbons and personalized fabric ribbons for bulk orders. We are the #1 custom awareness ribbon source for personal orders in the United States. There are currently no any other companies that offer the type of products we do. Our products are high quality. That’s our deal. We’re awareness ribbon people. We’re very proud of that. And, we struggle with lupus.
Purple Personalized Ribbon Pins Raise Awareness on World Lupus Day
At Personalized Cause®, we know that awareness ribbons have the ability to raise awareness, educate, represent hope and inspire others. Awareness ribbons can show your support for a cause or illness, or demonstrate your support for someone who is struggling. Awareness ribbons can also be a powerful way to take ownership of your health, rather than letting your health take ownership of you. On World Lupus Day, yes, this is a sales pitch. And yes, I truly believe everything I’m writing because of my own experience with lupus. So, while this awareness blog is sponsored by an awareness ribbon company, it is ultimately about raising awareness. Awareness helps to eliminate stigma, misconceptions, misinformation, and ignorance. We truly have the very best intentions in our endeavor. Not to mention that we put our heart and soul into writing these blogs in the hope they may help someone.
Without further delay, let’s get to it, shall we?
Today we’re talking about a disease called Lupus. Yes, the disease that Selena Gomez has. Gotta love the awareness that one celebrity can bring to a disease. Purple awareness ribbons are the most popular choice to represent Lupus on World Lupus Day. Some organizations and countries prefer to use orange for lupus. Both are correct. It’s really just a matter of preference or affiliation.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself. Lupus is a chronic condition. As a result, it is ongoing without a cure. The disease activity and symptoms, however, tend to wax and wane throughout a patient’s life. These phases of disease activity are called “flares.” Flares can be triggered by any number of things. For example, some people flare due to overexposure to the sun. Some experience flares feel like a cold or flu, or overexertion (aka pushing yourself and doing too much) and it’s hard to differentiate. Flares can also arise with no apparent cause. Flares can last anywhere from a couple days to weeks or months. They can subside over time on their own. Sometimes they require medication to control disease activity.
Lupus is an inflammatory disease, meaning that it causes the body to produce inflammation. Over time, if left untreated, inflammation can cause permanent damage and lead to other health issues. The inflammation can affect any organ in the body, including the joints, skin, heart, liver, kidneys, muscles, blood cells, lungs, or brain. If you’re one of those people who thrives in chaos, loves surprises, and is great at hitting a constantly moving target… Lupus is the disease for you! (I hope that doesn’t offend anyone, I know that the disease can be very serious and even deadly.)
Lupus is Difficult to Diagnose
Lupus can be a real pain to diagnose. Diagnosis can often take years because the signs and symptoms of Lupus tend to come and go (flares). In addition, the symptoms can resemble the symptoms of many other health problems. Autoimmune diseases tend to share many of the same characteristics that make it difficult to pinpoint an exact diagnosis, at times. As a beloved doctor once told me, all autoimmune diseases are the same ice cream, just different flavors. Many autoimmune diseases resemble one another, with slight variations. That saying has stuck with me for years. It’s a great little metaphor, so I thought I’d share it with you.
The Butterfly Rash
One symptom that leads doctors straight to the Lupus diagnosis is the telltale butterfly rash that appears on the face, though not all patients experience the butterfly rash. It is called the butterfly rash because the rash covers the bridge of the nose and spreads out onto the cheeks, resembling a butterfly. The butterfly rash is also the source of the unofficial Lupus mascot… the butterfly.
Is Lupus Hereditary?
Lupus is not necessarily heredity, although your chances of developing the disease are higher if a parent has it. It’s also more common in women than men. The disease can be triggered by external factors, for example, sunlight, infections, medications, or foreign bodies that are implanted.
Each case of Lupus is unique, and each patient’s experience of its symptoms is different. The disease process unfolds in its own way. Therefore, there is no road map to predict how or where it may lead. Some patients get better on their own and require no ongoing treatment. Others, however, will depend on treatment for their entire lives.
Raise Awareness of Lupus Symptoms on World Lupus Day
>p>Lupus tends to affect particular systems in each person, for example, the nervous system, circulatory system, tissues and cells. Symptoms are generally specific to how and where the disease affects a person. The following are the symptoms most experienced by those who suffer from lupus.
- Joint and muscle pain, joint stiffness, and swelling.
- Fever, particularly ongoing.
- Butterfly rash on the face.
- Sensitivity to sunlight, possibly resulting in skin lesions.
- Dry eyes.
- Raynaud’s phenomenon/syndrome: fingers and toes turn blue or white and feel cold.
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
- Confusion, aka brain fog.
- Memory loss.
When to See The Doctor
If you experience more than one of these symptoms persistently, see your primary care physician and talk to them about seeing a rheumatologist. Don’t rely on your doctor to bring it up. Even though many doctors don’t like when people think they’ve diagnosed themselves using the Internet, you are responsible for your health. It is essential that patients advocate for themselves, educate themselves, and listen to their gut if something doesn’t feel right. You have the right to get a second opinion, and you should not feel bad or worry about offending your current doctor. In the end, you are the one who pays the price if they are wrong. So, speak up, and don’t let anyone talk you out of your symptoms. And don’t let them talk you into a treatment.
Blood Tests and Lupus
There is no definitive blood test for Lupus, but blood labs are very important in assessing whether or not you have it. Certain blood tests, like the Antinuclear Antibody test, or SED rate (short for sedimentation rate, measuring the amount of inflammation in the body) are crucial.
Lupus has quite a few medicines in its arsenal. Unfortunately, few new drugs have been developed specifically for Lupus in a very long time. Lupus is treated with four categories of medications. The first category is NSAIDs, which stands for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These include over the counter medications like ibuprofen, but there are also special prescription NSAIDs. NSAIDs are used to treat pain, swelling and inflammation caused by the disease.
Plaquenil and Other Lupus Drugs
Plaquenil is a popular medication for Lupus, which is actually in the antimalarial category of drugs. The third category of drugs is corticosteroids. These are everybody’s most and least favorite because they work very well but have some terrible side effects. The most hated side effect is insatiable hunger, and the resulting weight gain. If you need them, they can totally change the game for you. Last are immunosuppressants. These are the heavy hitters. These drugs suppress the immune system, and therefore, hopefully, suppress disease activity. These drugs tend to have more dangerous side effects and increase your risk of infection.
That’s all, folks! Thanks so much for reading; I hope that you learned something that helps you or someone you care about.
If you would like to purchase a purple personalized awareness ribbon in support of lupus awareness, visit us at www.personalizedcause.com.
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